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History

Inowrocław, tężnie, tężnie w Inowrocławiu, Solanki Inowrocław, sanatorium Inowrocław
The first report of healthful advantages of the water drawn from the municipal well of Inowrocław appeared in a document issued by the Royal Chancellery of King Kazimierz Jagiellończyk in 1450.

Other historical sources indicate that the local waters cured the infertility of Judith, a wife of King Władysław Herman and the mother-to-be of the future King Bolesław Krzywousty However, the contemporary spa in Inowrocław was established a few hundred years later, in 1875, by a joint-stock company called Solanki Inowrocławskie (the salt springs of Inowrocław). The enterprise was located in the landed property of Rąbin, purchased from its owner, Doctor Zygmunt Wilkoński. In order to raise necessary funds for the undertaking 300 registered shares were issued at 300 marks each.

In the years of 1875 – 1876 the first building of the Bath House was completed. Today, it is the back section of the quadrangle of buildings (adjacent to the park) where the administration of „SOLANKI” Uzdrowisko Inowrocław is situated. In 1876 the building housed 14 bathrooms intended for brine baths.

The park surrounding the building complex (Park Solankowy) owes its foundation to Lucjan Grabski, a local social and economic activist. Thanks to his initiative and according to his design a French formal garden was established in the park. Initially, it covered one hectare of land and surrounded the Bath House.

A brochure printed to advertise the opening of the health spa stated that „Solanki Inowrocławskie was founded to treat scrofula, rheumatism, skin conditions and women’s diseases”. In 1880, the first treatment facility was opened at Szosa Pakoska (now Narutowicza St.). It was called  „Nowy Świat” (New World) and included a hotel, a restaurant and a ballroom with a stage. After World War II, the whole service facility was transferred to the Polish Railways, PKP, and housed the so-called “old sanatorium” until the buildings were demolished in the early 1990s. After the death of Doctor Wilkoński, Solanki Inowrocławskie lost its autonomy. On 9 April 1881 its management board and the municipal council of Inowrocław signed an agreement under which the municipality took over the company. Shortly before the change of ownership the magnificent building of the hydropathic establishment was constructed, now called the Natural Therapy Centre. Soon afterwards, the municipal council leased the spa to Otto Hundsdeorfer, a pharmacist, until 1885 but they did not accept another leaseholder and recovered full control of the property once the leasehold expired.
The new administrator extended the spa at the turn of the 19th century. Between 1886 and 1887 the second bath house was built near the pond to cater for the needs of children patients. It was furnished with 15 bath tubs and the brine was supplied through a pipeline directly from the nearby salt works at Szosa Pakoska. The bath house has not survived to this day.

In 1910, a glasshouse with a small resource base was constructed to make the spa more attractive. It has evolved into the distinctive glazed narrow building, nicknamed “the tram” by the residents and housing the Zdrojowa café.

In the same year a tennis court was built at the edge of the park. It has been used by the lovers of the “white game” until present.

Five years later a pump room was introduced. At first, it offered the mineral water, Kujawianka, obtained from local springs and containing an addition of brine. In the 1930s a bitter salt spring water was supplied to the pump room. It contained a substantial amount of therapeutic salts and matched the famous spring water of the Czech Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary) in terms of ingredients and health benefits. It proved particularly effective when treating obesity.

Apart from the foundation of the spa, such factors as the discovery and mining of rock salt deposits, the incorporation of the town into the national railway system and the establishment of a number of industrial facilities proved the most important for the dynamic spatial and demographic development of Inowrocław.

A real boom for the spa occurred in the interwar period. The following buildings and structures were constructed at that time: the band shell (1920), the therapeutic mud bath house (1924 – 1926), inspired by the manor house architecture, and the hydrotherapeutic facility (1928 – 1929), opened during the 7th General Convention of the Polish Hygienists. The area of the park was largely extended and the publishing of a permanent periodical, Wiadomości Zdrojowe (Spa News) began (1929 – 1939).

In the 1920s and 1930s the spa was called Inowrocławskie Zdrojowisko Solankowe i Borowinowe (the Brine and Therapeutic Mud Spa of Inowrocław). Intellectual and, to some extent, advisory support for the spa was provided by such respectful and elite non-governmental organisations as the Society of Spa Doctors, the Society for the Beauty of Inowrocław and the Society of Spa Enthusiasts.

On 5 September 1937 in the park the first monument dedicated to the memory of its founder, Doctor Wilkoński, was unveiled. The monument was designed by Edward Haupt, a sculptor of Poznań.
The therapeutic year at the spa was divided into three seasons: the spring season, from 1 April until 15 June, the main season, from 16 June until 15 August, and the autumn season, from 16 August until 31 October. In the winter season the spa was closed, except for the comfortable sanatorium of the National Insurance Company of Poznań, which operated throughout the winter from 1930. Today, the building houses the Medical SPA.

During the Nazi occupation an outdoor swimming pool was opened „for Germans only” at the edge of the park. Its distinctive bath house is now the Park Hotel.

After the war the dynamic growth of the spa did not slow down. In 1951, the Central Administration of Polish Spas took over the whole establishment from the municipal authorities. The complex of sanatoriums was given a common name of Uzdrowisko Inowrocław (Inowrocław Spa) and it was subsequently extended with new sanatoriums to serve different industrial branches and services: Energetyk (1963), Modrzew (1976), Kombatant (1976), now called Kujawiak, and Metalowiec (1980), now Oaza. 
In the summer of 2001 the brine graduation towers were opened to the public. It was the third structure of this kind in Poland and the ninth in Europe. Scientific research conducted by archaeologists of Poznań in the area verified that a Europe’s oldest brine graduation tower was used at the nearby district of Rąbin as early as in the Roman times (2nd – 4th century AD).

Two of the most recent attractive additions to the park are the Papal Gardens opened in 2009 and the statue of General Władysław Sikorski, seated on a bench, placed there in 2005. General Sikorski was a frequent guest to Solanki in the interwar period. Every year the spa park hosts a number of regular artistic events, such as the All-Polish Festival of Youth Brass Bands, the “Springtime in Solanki” - Artistic Review of the Choirs of Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province, the Musical Summer at the Towers, the Solanna Night, the Musical Summer of Inowrocław, or the Opera and Operetta Gala.

Since the 1920s the spa has always been both a therapeutic destination and the venue of medical conventions and conferences, such as the 7th General Convention of the Polish Hygienists (1929), the 1st Convention for Examination and Elimination of Rheumatism (1930), the National Convention of Balneologists (1954), the Geriatric Remembrance Day (1960), the 100th Anniversary of Inowrocław Spa (1975) or the conference Inowrocław as the Capital of Western Kujawy vs. Selected European Health Resorts (2010).

In the times of the People’s Republic of Poland a number of scientific and therapeutic establishments operated within the state enterprise of Inowrocław Spa, involved in such areas as cardiology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, angiology or geriatrics, and connected with academic centres of Warsaw, Białystok, Poznań and Gdańsk. 

The reputation of the spa of Inowrocław brought a lot of prominent figures from various spheres of the public life, for example Prime Minister Władysław Grabski, President In Exile Władysław Raczkiewicz, General Władysław Sikorski, General Józef Haller, Rear Admiral Józef Unrug, President of Warsaw Stefan Starzyński, President of Poznań Cyryl Ratajski, an Olympic gold medal winner Janusz Kusociński, writers: Maria Konopnicka, Maria Kasprowicz, Stanisław Przybyszewski, Miron Białoszewski, Eugeniusz Paukszta, actors: Irena Kwiatkowska, Ludwik Sempoliński, literary scholar Stanisław Helsztyński, professor of history Marian Biskup or TV journalist Krystian Przysiecki.

"Solanki" Uzdrowisko Inowrocław Sp. z o.o. provides European standard highest quality services, which has been verified by prestigious awards, such as the European Medal of 2002 and the Hit of 2004, certificates, such as the Integrated Quality Management System ISO 9001:2000, or the Food Safety Monitoring System HACCP, and the designation of a Disabled Friendly Centre. In the autumn of 2010 the Minister of Treasury authorised the privatisation of SOLANKI Uzdrowisko Inowrocław limited liability company.